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2020 Formula Boinc Sprints

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StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
Hey, @gizmo23 defected to Ars Technica over in league 2. Will they make it yet into the top ten of their league before the end of the sprint? Perhaps, but it all depends on @gizmo23 now.

Oh, I see that league 2 is almost dominated by Belgium's Best Team (founded by you know who) by now... if it wasn't for @Aurum's Foundation. ;-)
 

Orange Kid

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,866
1,525
146
Moo! Wrapper Final

1XtremeSystems25282,887,700
2The Scottish Boinc Team18194,815,384
3TeAm AnandTech15161,112,050
4UK BOINC Team1294,127,517
5Planet 3DNow!1049,687,232
6LITOMYSL Boinc Team Czech Republic841,455,028
7Rechenkraft.net638,019,353
8Crunching@EVGA431,777,317
9L'Alliance Francophone222,421,241
10Overclock.net120,076,30

From FreeDC

Day 3Day 2Day 1Total
xii5ku41,491,0362,433,5682,442,83246,367,436
biodoc6,184,1206,119,79214,079,21626,383,128
crashtech6,849,6645,867,82011,934,75024,652,234
phoenicis5,413,4964,826,000265,07210,504,568
Icecold-Team Anandtech3,467,0703,668,4403,318,97610,454,486
Orange Kid2,426,8322,211,1844,447,1769,085,192
Lane422,232,5442,200,2243,488,4647,921,232
10esseeTony1,555,7441,609,1282,999,6666,164,538
Kiska847,6721,032,1203,323,0005,202,792
Ken_g6458,384437,720847,0481,743,152
waffleironhead374,088405,608847,6611,627,357
zzuupp330,264407,760232,608970,632
IEC292,112292,112
geecee157,12012,288169,408

and the Hungarian Grand Prix results

  • Lewis HAMILTON1:36:12.473
  • Max VERSTAPPEN+8.702
  • Valtteri BOTTAS+9.452
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
Good morning! Thanks for the stats.

Here is the 2nd half of the sprint, top ten teams. I wasn't awake to watch, but have the replay on tape. ;-)

2nd 36 hours.png
 
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StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
Hey, @gizmo23 defected to Ars Technica over in league 2. Will they make it yet into the top ten of their league before the end of the sprint? Perhaps, but it all depends on @gizmo23 now.
Yep, Ars made it to 9th rank.
 

gizmo23

Junior Member
Jun 22, 2020
6
19
36
Yep, Ars made it to 9th rank.
It's true, I was just seeing how much of a difference I could make on my own. Adding a million to Anandtech's showing didn't change much, what with the heavy hitters in this team. I also read the Ars website regularly so just picked them and switched to see if I could be beneficial to a lower ranked team. Didn't realise that there are only 37 in the team, so it looks like my contribution did make up a few places.
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
The Sprint is the beloved/hated LHC. Beloved if you are good with the VM's, hated if not. :)
There are aspects which one might hate even if one is good with VMs.
Such as:
  • Most of their applications are ports of their internal HPC datacenter applications to BOINC. While that's interesting on its own, unfortunately these ports are very minimal which don't make proper use of BOINC. E.g., most of the required networking traffic bypasses BOINC entirely.
  • From what I understood, they don't really need donated computing capacity, they've got enough on their own. And even some spare capacity which they can donate to good causes. IOW, LHC@home appears to be about public outreach/ about showing some of the inner workings of LHC, not about supporting science with spare computer time.
  • And there is more. I am thinking of a technical/ administrative issue with LHC@home which does not belong into a public forum. Or maybe it does, but I need to look up whether the issue is still current.
That said, the BOINC world has got so many number-theoretical projects, I wish it had a few more physics related projects.
 
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StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
Another example of flawed porting of their cluster applications to BOINC: While a task of the CMS application is running, it internally requests and fetches several jobs from the LHC cluster manager, one after another and without using the boinc client for it. If one such work request fails, the entire BOINC task fails. That is, you don't get credit for any successful computation before the work request failure. Plus, the more BOINC tasks fail on your host, the less reliable is your host from the BOINC server's point of view. Consequently, the quota of tasks in progress will be reduced for this host, until it is able to finish many tasks properly again (source). "No, I didn't write the BOINC server code..." says a project developer. Sure, but they wrote their lazy wrapper.

But not only their wrapped applications are flawed. Their one native BOINC application, SixTrack, has got the problem that there are occasionally tasks which finish very quickly. Aside from network transfers overhead being a problem with these short tasks, they also reduce the boinc-client's internal estimation of average task run times. It is possible that a host receives a large number of such short tasks as a series. When it then receives a proper task with normal run time again, the client may wrongly determine that this task is taking too long, and terminate it as failed. There is no way out of this, except maybe for project reset (I don't remember if this works), or by manipulating the run time limit of queued tasks in client_state.xml.

My personal view: Projects which are not entirely straightforward to run tend to capture my interest — at least for a while. But I am not easily convinced to run projects which are not integrated with BOINC. Further, one current problem of LHC@home makes this project improper for competitions. It doesn't help if project developers don't plan to address problems which were brought to their knowledge.
 
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StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
For the rest of this sprint I need to gather the mental strength not to look at the powermeters or at 'uptime'. It's sheer horror. Much of the time these tasks just sit there doing nothing.

My guess is that they are attempting internal transfers over LHC's cluster filesystem, but can't progress because my Internet connection is maxed out.

I think the real advantage of the native applications over the vbox application --- for a user like myself --- would not actually be their lower RAM footprint, but the possibility to cache some of the cluster filesystem traffic. However, the real solution would be a 10GigE connection straight into their datacenter...
 

Fardringle

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2000
8,650
253
126
Gridcoin is pulling ahead gradually. I wish my computers would get some work so I could help. :(
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
Actually we do have similar speed to Gridcoin, and are occasionally slightly ahead. Like just now. In addition, P3D overtook LAF. This combined resulted in this current overall standing at Formula BOINC 2020:

4 . . . . TeAm AnandTech . . . . . . . . 283 :-)
5 . . . . L'Alliance Francophone . . . . 282

----------------
Some observations from the different computers of mine; all Linux:
  • Dual Zen2 with 256 GB RAM, kernel 4.12.14 and 5.3.18, vbox 6.0.18 and 6.1.10 work like a charm.
  • Dual Xeon with 64 GB RAM, kernel 4.12.14, vbox 6.0.12 occasionally get tasks stuck in "Postponed: VM job unmanageable, restarting later" state. Sometimes its "Postponed: VM environment needed to be cleaned up" after half a minute of run time. Such "postponed" tasks need to be aborted, as I know of no way to restart them.
    These computers also had a few tasks which ran for very long time (when I noticed this first, some ran already for a whole day), and I aborted these too.
  • Core i7, 16 GB RAM, kernel 4.15.0, vbox 5.1.38 (of Linux Mint 18.3) had two lockups so far; the whole computer was stuck with a black screen and needed a hardware reset. I have no doubt that the out-of-the-mainline kernel modules of VirtualBox caused these lockups, as these computers generally work almost as reliable for me as my server hardware based computers.
 
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Orange Kid

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,866
1,525
146
LHC@Home day two

1XtremeSystems251,973,613
2TeAm AnandTech181,113,452
3Gridcoin151,066,123
4Rechenkraft.net12540,633
5The Scottish Boinc Team10532,406
6UK BOINC Team8213,786
7Planet 3DNow!6210,093
8Overclock.net4138,809
9L'Alliance Francophone2101,816
10Czech National Team147,771

From FreeDC

xii5ku243,971197,628441,599
biodoc117,121128,716245,837
wes.145,45726,869172,326
Icecold-Team Anandtech23,409023,409
crashtech19,469019,469
Orange Kid12,102012,102
Fardringle5,25805,258
Peter1,45101,451
far3660366
10esseeTony10818126
 

TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
3,824
2,666
136
www.google.com
Sorry for my lack of contribution, I started a VM task with 8 threads, went to work, came home and found it had 9 more DAYS to go. Is this an aberration? Maybe I should try another task....
 

biodoc

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2005
5,614
885
126
Sorry for my lack of contribution, I started a VM task with 8 threads, went to work, came home and found it had 9 more DAYS to go. Is this an aberration? Maybe I should try another task....
If it's an Atlas vbox task, abort it. On my Zen2's, Atlas 8 thread tasks take about 1.25-1.5 hours. On my ivy bridge 2P, they take 4.25 hours.
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
This many credits were granted at each of the LHC@home sprints at Formula BOINC so far:

June 2017November 2018September 2019July/Aug. 2020
TeAm AnandTech
0.6 M​
2.2 M​
7.6 M​
1.4 M*​
all teams combined
9.5 M​
24.1 M​
49.5 M​
10.1 M*​

*) at 14 hours before the end = 80% done​

Notable changes from year to year:

2018:
The native ATLAS application for Linux was introduced in August 2017.​
2019:
Credits for Theory-vbox had been changed by the project admins a few months before this sprint.​
2020:
No SixTrack tasks are available at the time of the sprint, or a handful at best. (There is only work for vboxwrapper based applications, and for native applications which require installation of cluster infrastructure on the users' hosts.)​
Per-host quota of tasks in progress are severely broken. (Some hosts never get tasks.)​

There is one positive aspect of the technical problems this year: Gridcoin has been #1 in all previous sprints, with 1/4 of the credits of all teams combined in 2017, further increased to 1/3 of the credits in 2018 and 2019. This year, Gridcoin is ranking #3, with merely 1/8 of the credits of all teams combined.
 
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TennesseeTony

Elite Member
Aug 2, 2003
3,824
2,666
136
www.google.com
My linux boxes are failing at the checkpoint, 10 minutes into crunching (Theory VM). Probably do not have virtualbox fully installed or something. Ah, well, good run from those who making all the points! :)
 

StefanR5R

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2016
3,493
3,759
106
My linux boxes are failing at the checkpoint, 10 minutes into crunching (Theory VM).
Is there a firewall running on these computers, or anywhere between them and CERN? The application inside the VM needs several ports open. For ATLAS, these are 80 (HTTP), 3128 (HTTP proxy), 443 (HTTPS), 5222 (XMPP), 9094 (perhaps used by CERN's cluster stuff) — says Yeti. I haven't found the same info for the Theory application.
 

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